After sustaining a spinal cord injury, Clark lost his ability to walk and his ability to sweat on the same day. And from there, a plethora of skin issues followed suit. "I developed acne, rosacea, oily skin in certain parts, dry skin in certain parts. It looked like my skin was hyper-aging—but nothing helped," he says.
"The enzyme we use is from a nocturnally blooming jasmine flower. As the sun comes up, an enzyme is released that closes the petals of the flower. That enzyme is what is naturally rebalancing for your skin." - Francesco Clark, founder of Clark's Botanicals
After trying just about every product on the market with zero improvement, Clark finally took his mission home and enlisted the help of his father, Harold Clark, MD. A physician trained in both traditional Western medicine and homeopathy, Dr. Clark worked diligently with his son for four years, testing over 78 versions of the company's active complex before landing on a concoction that worked. "We tried lavender essential oils and extracts, rose hip, chamomile, echinacea. Everything would burn my skin more because it was more basic," says Clark.
And then came jasmine. Or more specifically, a super special, skin-changing blend of a night-blooming enzyme found in the flower along with other essential oils and botanical extracts from the plant. "The enzyme we use is from a nocturnally blooming jasmine flower," Clark explains. "As the sun comes up, an enzyme is released that closes the petals of the flower. That enzyme is what is naturally rebalancing for your skin."
Pretty soon, Clark's complexion did a 180, giving him a seriously enviable glow. His friends and family clamored to get in on the goodness of jasmine, and pretty soon, he had a burgeoning business on his hands. "It was never about selling a product; it was about rebalancing my skin—and until we found jasmine, nothing worked," he admits.
Nowadays, Clark adds this into every product Clark's Botanicals sells. Below, he and Amy Galper, certified aromatherapist and educator at the New York Institute of Aromatherapy, break down the major perks of beautifying with jasmine. (Spoiler: They go way beyond skin deep.)
Scroll down for the need-to-know intel on this nocturnal flower.
The mind-body benefits of slathering on jasmine
Jasmine comes with an impressive and wide-spanning list of "buy me right now!" benefits. First and foremost, it boasts all those good "anti" properties you want in an oil: "It's antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory—those are the basic things you need to know about it," explains Galper of the flower's essential oil (Clark uses a blend of the jasmine enzymes with other parts of the flower as opposed to a strict essential oil). In other words, it can fight of acne and infections in a pinch.
In the strictly physiological category, Galper says it can help relieve muscles spasms, and "it’s really great at dispersing any kind of congestion or stagnation, and encouraging flow, which is why you often see jasmine incorporated into blends for women who are breastfeeding." So if you're feeling a little bit stuck internally, rolling on this oil might be just the fix you need.
According to this rockstar aromatherapist, jasmine's most potent benefit is 100 percent psychological: "One thing that jasmine has the most profound effect on—for someone like me who’s used it for a long time in aromatherapeutic formulations for skincare—is it’s really deep resonance in the mind and emotions," she says. "If we feel stressed out, or we feel upset, or we feel angry, it shows up right in our face, right on our skin."
Combine the physical properties with its *beyond* heady smell, and you have a medley fit for keeping both your inner and your outer world at an equilibrium. And if we're being honest here—isn't that what we all want a little bit more of?
How to start using the oil (like, right now)
Before you get started with jasmine, both Clark and Galper stress that this oil—like tea tree—craves the company of other ingredients. Because of its potency, applying it straight on your skin or using it as a spot treatment all by itself might have a stripping effect on your complexion (which obvi, no one wants). Instead, Clark combines his with essentials like coffee, algae, vitamin C, and others that mellow out the jasmine, while bringing other benefits to the mix.
For a DIY approach, Galper suggests combining jasmine with other essential oils depending on your desired effects. "By mixing the different chemicals, you’re emphasizing the different constituents in the oil that provide different therapeutic actions," she explains. To create an equalizing blend that will help you tune in to your emotions plus pack in those anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effects, combine the jasmine with frankincense and sandalwood and dilute in a carrier oil. Then, apply as needed to any part of your skin that could use a little luster.
Your new signature scent? How about an irresistible eau de garden (with radiant skin to match).
Speaking of ancient medicine that's making a comeback in beauty—these are the teas that belong on your skin (and in your mug) and how to use dry brushing to prep your bod for a day at the pool.
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